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You’ve come up with a beyond brilliant new offer.
You’ve done the market research, you’ve prepped your materials, you know exactly how you want to deliver it, and you know your dream clients are going to be over the moon about it.
But now it’s time to write your detailed long-form sales page. Or a snappy short-form sales page? Maybe you should slide it into your services page with your other offers.
You could hire a copywriter to write your sales page (hi there), but what kind of sales page should they write?
While an expert copywriter will guide you toward the best sales-page choice based on their own experience and your service offerings, it never hurts to start with an idea about what your sales page will look like.
Service pages and sales pages are both designed to sell your products. So what’s the actual difference between them?
Compared to a high-conversion-focused sales page, a service page is more like a back-and-forth conversation with your audience about your entire offering packages.
Your service pages describe the ways you can work together, your services, and your process and values, and encourage your readers to hire you. On service pages, your offers are displayed as possible options rather than the ultimate service your audience requires right now.
A sales page is, you guessed it, more sales-forward. This standalone page promotes a specific offer to a variety of buyer personas, coupled with a sense of urgency to sign up now.
Your sales page addresses questions specifically about this service and provides context on why it’s the best solution. Sales page offers are likely your signature offers, more intense or in-depth than your other services, or only available for a limited time, so you need to shine a light on them.
When hiring a copywriter to write your sales page, rather than just adding a new service page to your website, you’ll then need to choose between a long-form or short-form sales page.
Your clients aren’t signing up for your service. They’re signing up for the outcome or transformation you offer.
That transformation is what you need to sell them on.
For some of your services, you only need a few paragraphs or even sentences to convince your readers the outcome is what they need. In other cases, you need to do a little more work and include statistics, testimonials, stories, detailed information, and more.
Long-form sales pages set the stage, tell your brand story, and answer any questions your potential clients come up with. They’re targeted at big-ticket/high-commitment services, niche or complex services, or offers where your audience is unfamiliar with you, your services, or the transformation you provide.
High Price + High Commitment: Before a client drops one, two, or twenty thousand dollars or commits to working with you for months, they want to feel confident that you and your services are exactly what they’re looking for. So, when your offer requires your clients to make a large investment, you need to give them all the information they need.
Niche + Complex: Is your service completely different from anything else in your industry? Does it have specific deliverables or require your clients to follow a defined process? Then a long-form sales page is for you. Laying out all the details means your clients will tap your ‘sign up’ button by the end of the page.
Low Awareness: If the Lizzo launched a ‘How to Be a Wildly Successful Icon’ coaching program for thousands of dollars tomorrow, it would be booked out immediately. But unless you’re the Lizzo of your industry, your clients need more information about you, your story, values, process, and service before they’re ready to commit.
In contrast, short-form sales pages get to the heart of your services quickly. They’re for low-risk services, offers where your clients instantly grasp the outcome, and where there’s widespread brand or service awareness.
Low Cost + Low Commitment: If your clients are only dropping $50 or an hour of their time, they aren’t too concerned about every single detail of your service. While you should still provide the essential information, you don’t need to describe every second of your time together.
Straightforward Transformations: If your product makes a difference right away or is easy to understand, don’t waste your readers’ time and energy explaining something they already know. Let them jump right to the sign-up form.
High Awareness: If you are the Lizzo of your industry, or you offer a common service that your clients already know about, then you don’t have to convince them that this is the perfect service for them. Keep it short and sweet.
The first few times I came across a long-form sales page, I didn’t get the point.
Endlessly scrolling through a website page, seeing testimonials that I knew were picked specifically to make the service sound good, step-by-step walkthroughs…it seemed like so much work to read that I’d usually exit out.
Then I started making large investments in my own business.
That’s when I wanted all the information, details, next steps, previous experiences, and personal connections. I wanted to feel absolutely confident in my choices. Three of the largest (and most helpful) investments I’ve made were motivated by long-form sales pages.
But how do you decide if a long-form sales page is helping or harming your services?
You need to consider
Your Offer’s Price Point: Higher investment = more information needed.
Your Offer’s Complexity: Don’t leave potential customers baffled by your service.
Your Brand’s or Offer’s Popularity: Are you Lizzo?
Let’s take a peek at an example of a service that needs a long-form sales page and one that requires a short-form sales page.
If you run a yoga studio, you might offer a 5-day yoga pass for new students at a discounted price.
Now imagine those potential clients scrolling through a long-form sales page with detailed information about yoga and a rundown of every day of their five-day pass.
Even if your sales page has the most hilarious, witty, or emotional copy that’s been written in the entire existence of the written word, your potential clients are going to be frustrated and bored.
Why would they need a long-form sales page?
The pass is only 5 days, it’s low cost, and your readers know what yoga is. They’re chasing a zen-like state and if they have to wade through fluff before signing up, they’ll find another yoga studio.
However, if you use a short-form sales page to promote your new, two-week, all-inclusive yoga retreat, you’ll run into some problems.
Think about how many questions your potential clients have before investing in a costly retreat like this. They’ll want to know where it is, who’s leading it, where they’re staying, what they’re eating, how they can pay, and if it’s something they can take on before they’ve mastered the tree pose.
If you don’t give them all the information they need they’ll either send you their questions directly and you’ll spend hours responding, or more likely, they’ll find a different retreat that does provide all the answers.
There’s a lot of strategy and thought behind writing your sales page.
Should your offer fit into a services page, along with your other regular services? Do you need a long-form sales page that describes every detail? Or just a short, snappy sales page that gets straight to the point?
By hiring an expert copywriter, you get someone to guide you through your different options and a one-of-a-kind, effective sales page that highlights your services and converts your readers into clients.
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do-good brands in the creative and adventure industries.